Min menu


Hot Articles

What is carb backloading ?

First off, if we asked you to name foods you should eat to lose weight and build muscle, what would you say? Chicken? Salad? Vegetables? Brown rice? Egg Whites? Basically, foods which are conventionally considered as healthy and balanced right? What about pizza, ice cream, cookies, and chocolate? Yep, you did read that right, and we’ll tell you more about that shortly.

In a nutshell, carb backloading is a method of eating, in which you back-load each and every single carb you consume, so that before you workout, you’re not consuming a single carbohydrate at all. Now, at first that may sound horrendous to many of you, as carbohydrates before you workout are what gets you through each session. Well, don’t be so quick to throw in the towel, because before you workout, you’ll be consuming healthy fats and lean proteins, and saving all of your carbohydrates for immediately following your workout.

So, to be clear, before you workout and lift weights, you’ll be eating and drinking NO carbohydrates in the slightest, and will only consume them immediately following your workout. Now, if you’re still not sure, let’s go back to the pizza and ice cream part . When we talk about carbohydrates immediately following your workout, we’re not talking about rice cakes, brown rice, boiled potato, and whole wheat pasta, oh no. We’re talking about ice cream, pizza, candy, chocolate, cake, cookies, and much more.

So…What is Carb Back-Loading?

Carb Back-Loading is a fairly simple concept. Nutritionist John Kiefer is largely responsible for its popularity as of late! Basically…

You can break the diet down into several simple ‘rules’:

✔ Eat light in the morning (which may mean skipping breakfast) and in the early hours of the afternoon, but consume a lot in the evening.

✔ Eat virtually no carbs until after you have worked out, which ideally should be mid-afternoon.

✔ Your first meal containing carbs is your post-workout meal, and you continue to consume carbs throughout the remainder of the evening.

That is essentially it, it seems pretty mad and goes against what we naturally think which is to consume less food; especially carbs in the evening!

Does carb back-loading work? It definitely helped me to lose several Kg of body fat in preparation for a holiday, and now I use it as a framework for my everyday nutrition. It’s convenient, it makes perfect sense and it works. If you want to know the specific diet I used (and still do) .

People looking to loose fat, or minimise fat gain while adding muscle (probably most of us)
People with a sedentary job
People who can eat a shit ton of carbs in a couple of sittings
But isn’t carb back-loading the same as carb cycling? No, not in my book. Carb cycling for me refers to the practice of a planned fluctuation of carbohydrates over a period of days, for example, over the course of three days you might have a high carb day, a medium carb day, and a low carb day, but throughout the course of a day, carbs may be evenly spread across all meals.